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Pat Tillman

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Pat Tillman left his NFL career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Tillman joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he was killed in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first, the Army reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Controversy ensued when a month later, on May 28, 2004, the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had been killed by a friendly fire incident; the family and other critics allege that the Department of Defense delayed the disclosure for weeks after Tillman's memorial service out of a desire to protect the image of the U.S. military. Tillman was posthumously promoted from specialist to corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

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Pat Tillman left his NFL career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequent death, were the subject of much media attention. The Arizona Cardinals had previously offered Pat Tillman a three year, 3.6 million dollar contract. Tillman turned it down and joined the Army in May 2002. Tillman believed it was more important to fight for his country than to fight on the football field. A giant banner of former Arizona Cardinal's Pat Tillman is unfurled by fans during halftime of the New England Patriots/Arizona Cardinals game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Pat Tillman (November 6, 1976; April 22, 2004) was a player in the NFL who left his sports career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and subsequent death, were the subject of much media attention. Tillman joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first, the Army reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Controversy ensued when a month later, on May 28, 2004, the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had died as a result of a friendly fire incident; the family and other critics allege that the Department of Defense delayed the disclosure for weeks after Tillman's memorial service out of a desire to protect the image of the U.S. military. Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since Bob Kalsu, who died in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was posthumously promoted from specialist to corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. (AP Photo)

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ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, MAY 3-4 - FILE - In this April 20, 2013, file photo, runners prepare for the 9th annual Pat's Run in Tempe, Ariz. Pat's Run is filled with inspirational stories all wanting to honor the memory of NFL star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman. For seven years, Sheldon Davidson had become the annual exclamation point to the run, climbing out of his wheelchair and dragging the paralyzed left side of his body across the final 42 yards. He died 42 days before this year's run, so his wife and daughter made the journey without him, honoring two heroes with every step. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

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ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, MAY 3-4- FILE - In this April 20, 2013, file photo, runners start the 9th annual Pat's Run in Tempe, Ariz. Pat's Run is filled with inspirational stories all wanting to honor the memory of NFL star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman. For seven years, Sheldon Davidson had become the annual exclamation point to the run, climbing out of his wheelchair and dragging the paralyzed left side of his body across the final 42 yards. He died 42 days before this year's run, so his wife and daughter made the journey without him, honoring two heroes with every step. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

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ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, MAY 3-4 - FILE - In this Aug 15, 2011, file photo, Sheldon Davidson holds a photograph of his first Pat's Run marathon in 2009 at his home in Mesa, Ariz. Pat's Run is filled with inspirational stories all wanting to honor the memory of NFL star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman. For seven years, Davidson had become the annual exclamation point to the run, climbing out of his wheelchair and dragging the paralyzed left side of his body across the final 42 yards. He died 42 days before this year's run, so his wife and daughter made the journey without him, honoring two heroes with every step. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Army Ranger Pat Tillman